These vegan zucchini fritters are inspired by Korean scallion pancakes: combining zucchini and scallions in a simple, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free batter and pan-frying them into crispy zucchini fritters! Serve as an appetizer, side, or snack.
Grate the zucchini with a manual grater or using a grater disk in a food processor. Alternatively, you can use a knife to julienne the zucchini.
Transfer the zucchini to a bowl, sprinkle with salt, and set it aside for 10-15 minutes. The salt will extract all the excess liquid from the zucchini (so you don't end up with soggy fritters).Alternatively, you can leave them to drain in a sieve over a bowl and then press out the remaining liquid after 10 minutes.
Transfer the zucchini to a nut milk bag of muslin/cheesecloth and squeeze out as much liquid from the zucchini as possible into a bowl (this will be used later).
Step 2: Chop the remaining vegetables
Finely chop the spring onion and chili. Depending on how spicy you want the crispy zucchini fritters to be, feel free to remove some or all the seeds.
Step 3: Prepare the zucchini pancakes batter
Whisk the cornstarch, rice flour, 1/2tsp salt, the liquid from the zucchini, and the water until the mixture is lump-free.
Mix the zucchini, scallions (keep aside 1/3 to add to the dipping sauce), and chili into the batter.
Prepare the dipping sauce by combining all the ingredients and mixing well.
Step 4: Pan-fry the vegan zucchini fritters
In a large skillet, heat up some oil. For super-crispy zucchini fritters, make sure to create a thin layer of oil across the bottom of the pan.
Once the oil is hot, add the batter to the pan. I use around ½ cup of the vegan zucchini fritter batter per fritter (which will make 6 fritters). Feel free to adjust this for smaller/larger ones. Press the batter to flatten it out – the flatter it is, the crispier they'll become.
Fry the zucchini pancakes for 2-3 minutes per side, until golden brown and crispy. Then transfer the cooked fritter to some kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil while you cook the remaining fritters.
Alternatively, keep the fritters warm in the oven (at around 230ºF/110ºC) while cooking the remainder of the batch.
Serve with the dipping sauce - you can cut each fritter into triangular pieces if wanted.
How to Store
Make ahead: You can prepare the batter 2-3 days in advance and store it, covered tightly, in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it. Fridge: store any leftover vegan zucchini fritters in an airtight container and enjoy within 3-4 days.Freeze: allow the zucchini pancakes to cool entirely before transferring them to the freezer with parchment paper between each one (to stop sticking). Freeze for up to 2 months (you may be able to freeze for longer, but this is the longest I’ve tried so far). You can then allow them to thaw in the fridge and reheat in a pan with a drop of oil to bring back the crispiness. Alternatively, reheat them from frozen in your oven/Air Fryer.
Chilling the batter: it can help to produce the crispiest results if you chill the pancake batter for 30 minutes before using it. I don’t find this 100% necessary - but if you want things as crispy as possible, it's a good idea!
Thick vs. thin: you're able to adjust the size and shape of your zucchini pancakes easily. Just remember that the thinner they are, the crispier your results.
Use enough oil: this recipe for zucchini fritters benefits from a little extra oil for the crispiest vegan zucchini fritters. I recommend adding enough oil to lightly coat the entire bottom of your pan. You can experiment with less, but your results may not be as crispy.
Squeeze out enough moisture: if you don’t get rid of enough moisture from the zucchini, the batter will be too soggy. I know this seems odd when we’re adding the liquid back into the batter later. However, I’ve found this helps you control the moisture better and yields the crispiest results.
For even fritters: feel free to use a large ice-cream scoop to create even-sized fritters.
Other vegetables: I already have a recipe for Korean pancakes that use mixed vegetables - so feel free to adapt that to this version use rice flour.
Other herbs: Alongside the scallions (green onions), you can also add other herbs for extra flavor; dill and parsley would be my top two recommendations.
Spices: To add more flavor to the zucchini pancake/fritter batter, feel free to add in some extra seasonings/spices. These include garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, chili powder, and/or nutritional yeast.